Summer 2012 Mileposts

July 12th, 2012


Harlan de Brun, instructor in the physical education and recreation department, will lead the South Africa fall 2012 cross-cultural venture during his last semester at EMU. Harlan and his spouse, Claire, will begin a service assignment in Lesotho in January 2013, working with Mennonite Central Committee.

Violet (Vi) Dutcher, professor and department chair of the language and literature department, attended the 63rd Annual Convention of the Conference on College Composition, March 21-24, 2012, in St. Louis, Mo. She chaired an academic writing session entitled “Conflict as Space for Agency,” reviewed a presentation for Kairos Review, and continued as a member of the committee on the status of women in the profession.

Cathy Smeltzer Erb participated in the values-based leadership program at Laurelville Mennonite Church Center in Mt. Pleasant, Pa., Feb. 21-23, 2012. She also served as a state representative on an NCATE/State Board of Examiners team, Feb. 25-28, 2012. In addition, she attended the Teachers of Promise in Richmond, March 23-24, 2012, with EMU’s six nominees: Laura Hershey, Stacy Lehman, Sarah Leland, Camila Pandolfi, Rebecca Peachey, and Julie Young.

David Evans has been named assistant professor of history, mission, intercultural and interfaith studies at the seminary. David will nurture and push students as they wade into the increasingly diverse religious contexts of the world. He brings expertise in cultural analysis and interfaith and intercultural mission from a historical perspective. He earned his doctoral degree from Drew University, Madison, N.J., in the history of U.S. religion. His studies provided the context for his dissertation titled “A Methodist Melting Pot: Religion, Race and Nation in America 1909-16.”

Don Tyson, associate professor in the nursing department, successfully defended his PhD dissertation, “The Experience of African Students Studying Nursing in the U.S. in Relation to Their Use of Critical Thinking,” at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va., on April 20, 2012.


Margaret Lind ’56 Wyse and her husband, Paul, moved to Harrisonburg, Va., in 2005 after serving overseas with Wycliffe Bible Translators for 35 years. Their two children, Carmen ’84 and Curtis ’88 graduated from EMU.


Arthur (Art) Newcomer ’64, Bellefontaine, Ohio, is a retired volunteer in the stewardship ministry of Ohio Mennonite Conference. Prior to retirement, Art worked as a social worker for 20 years assisting needy children. Later, he became involved in real estate activities and worked with Mennonite Mutual Aid (MMA), now Everence, for about 20 years. During this ministry, he was joined by his spouse, Mary Rosenberger ’62 Newcomer. When Art retired from this position, Mary continued to represent MMA.


Lois Yoder ’72 Bontrager, North Canton, Ohio, is the volunteer chairperson of the stewardship ministry of Ohio Mennonite Conference. Lois is also the church relations manager for Everence, the mutual aid agency of Mennonite Church USA.

Kenton T. Derstine ’72, clinical pastoral education/field education director of EMS, Harrisonburg, Va., received a doctor of ministry degree from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D. C. Kenton earned his degree in the DMin track. His core project was titled “Seminar in Family and Congregation Relationship Process: Formation Practices for Ministry in Chaotic Times.”

James (Jim) Buller ’75, Goshen, Ind., a 1971 graduate of Bethany Christian Schools of Goshen, has crossed a major milestone in his 33-year career as head coach of the boy’s basketball team, the Bruins, at his alma mater. On Feb. 24, 2012, Jim led the Bruins to defeat Fremont to match the boys basketball record of 364 wins set by John Longfellow in 1948 as the winningest coach in Elkhart County history.

Ann Graber ’76 Hershberger, professor of nursing, gave two presentations, “More with less: Using a developing case study to teach informatics and epidemiology” and “Scarcity results in Strength: Degree collaboration and interprofessionality,” at the masters conference of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, March 1 & 2, 2012, in San Antonio, Tex.

C. Daniel Liechty ’76, Normal, Ill., was promoted to professor in the School of Social Work of Illinois State University in Normal, Ill.


Daniel Hooley ’81, Canton, Ohio, is a volunteer in the credentialing ministry of Ohio Mennonite Conference.

Alan F. Knight ’81, Harrisonburg, Va., the Page County High School softball coach, inherited a multi-purpose field in 1988 with only a backstop on it. Improvements began 12 years ago, with a major transformation completed three years ago. On May 2, 2012, Alan was honored with a banner that read, “Panther Softball at Coach Alan Knight Field.” In his 31 season as coach, Alan is the fourth most winningest active softball coach in Virginia, across all classifications. This season, he has guided the Panthers to a 17-0 record. Alan is also a retired four-time state volleyball coach.

David ’81, MDiv ’92, and Lavonne Weaver ’81 Lehman of Toano, Va., are sinking roots in the Williamsburg area where David is pastor of Williamsburg Mennonite Church. Lavonne has found many ways to be involved with the women of the church as well as volunteering at the Williamsburg Christian Retreat Center. They recently purchased a home on three acres of land within five miles of the church.

Donald Shenk ’82, Temple City, Calif., received his ministerial license and was installed as pastor of San Marino Congregational United Church of Christ, San Marino, Calif., on Jan. 29, 2012.

Robin D. Frey ’84, Philadelphia, Pa., continued her education after graduating from EMU through study at the Art Students’ League of New York for almost five years. In the last 10 years, she has been teaching and painting at Incamminati, a realist atelier in Philadelphia founded by the world-renowned artist, Nelson Shanks. About two years ago, she became involved with a project at Children’s Hospital of Pennsylvania (CHOP) in Philadelphia called Face to Face. This is designed to help build the esteem of selected children from CHOP with craniofacial disfigurements, through painting their portraits. More info at

Carmen Wyse ’84, a social worker with Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County, and her spouse, Wayne Gehman ’84, an electronic media specialist at MennoMedia in Harrisonburg, Va., are active in Community Mennonite Church of Harrisonburg. They have two sons – 15-year-old Christian, a rising freshman at Harrisonburg High School, and 12-year-old Nathan, a rising seventh grader at Thomas Jefferson Middle School.

Jeanine Groff ’85 Musselman, who died Mar. 13, 2007, was honored by having a newly drilled well named for her in Haiti. The project started with funds donated at Jeanine’s memorial service. Rather than giving flowers, people were encouraged to donate for digging a well in Haiti. The well was drilled by Water For Life, headed by Willis Miller from Kalona, Iowa. Members of Souderton Mennonite Church and others from the Souderton, Pa. area, went to Haiti to help with the project. The well was dedicated on Feb. 23, 2012, with Jeanine’s spouse, Kendall Musselman ’84 and her father, Larry Groff, present. The well is in the steep mountain region between the villages of Pasbwadom and Cotes de Fer, which are located about 80 miles Southwest of Port au Prince. In addition to Kendall, Jeanine is survived by their son, Miles Musselman ’09.

Gary Yoder ’85, Kalona, Iowa, manages the website of Johnson County, Iowa. The website was named one of best among 6,000 public sites recently evaluated by Sunshine Review, a national non-profit organization dedicated to government transparency. The website received high marks in 11 of 12 categories. Only two other Iowa public entities won similar honors.

Philip (Phil) R. Landes ’87, Bridgewater, Va., became the secondary principal of Eastern Mennonite School (EMS) on July 1, 2012. He assumed the position upon the retirement of Sherman Eberly ’68, who concluded 43 years in education on June 30, 2012, with 15 years served at EMS. Phil brought over 20 years of experience in education and leadership. He is responsible for leading the students and faculty of both the middle and high school divisions of EMS. Previously, he taught biology and completed an administrative practicum at Turner Ashby High School in Bridgewater, Va. Phil founded the Turner Ashby High School varsity boys’ soccer program, which he also coached for 11 years. He completed a master’s of science degree in educational administration from Shenandoah University in June 2012.

Deirdre Longacher ’87 Smeltzer, chair and professor of the mathematical science department, Harrisonburg, Va., will be serving as interim director of cross-cultural programs in the undergraduate dean’s office, beginning in August 2012.

Curtis Wyse ’88, Kalona, Iowa, and his spouse, Dawn Wallerich, own and operate JW’s Foods in Kalona. JW Foods is a full-service grocery store located in the largest Amish settlement west of the Mississippi River. Curtis and Dawn are active in the Kalona Mennonite Church. More info at


Jeffrey (Jeff) Gingerich ’90, Norristown, Pa., is the academic dean of Cabrini College, a Catholic college near Philadelphia. He and a colleague, Vonya Steiner ’93 Womack, say they are interested in infusing into Cabrini’s curriculum some of the foci of EMU, notably those pertaining to social justice and the common good.

David Gullman ’91 (biblical studies cert.), MA ’00 (church leadership), Broadway, Va., carried an 8-foot-long wooden cross on his shoulder as he walked slowly up North Main Street of Harrisonburg, Va., on Good Friday. David was part of a group of approximately 100 persons participating in an annual “Stations of the Cross” walk, which began in 1990. This year, the walk featured 10 stations. David was featured in the Daily News Record for carrying the cross from the first station, Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, to the second station at the former U.S. Post Office, where he read from the Gospel of Mark about the betrayal of Jesus and his arrest. David is the pastor of Crossroads Mennonite Church in Broadway and of Pleasant View, an adult residential care facility in Harrisonburg.

LaRee Miller ’92 Eby, Woodburn, Ore., her spouse, Andrew, and their children Arizona, Caleb and Eliana, are on an Eastern Mennonite Missions assignment in Honduras through July 2012 to care for children in crisis.

Sean FitzGerald MA ’92 (church leadership), Denver, Colo., is on assignment by Eastern Mennonite Missions in Guinea-Bassau as a medical worker through December 2012.

Vonya Steiner ’93 Womack, Schwenksville, Pa., assistant professor of business administration at Cabrini College near Philadelphia, led a group of social-justice students from Cabrini to San Lucas, Guatemala, where they had an ”immersion” experience at the San Lucas Mission, working with a dental group going to surrounding villages, sorting coffee beans, building stoves and talking with those who had endured injustice during the civil war. In February 2012, Vonya also spent 20 days in Libya serving with a team from Peace and Prosperity Alliance based in Denver, Colo.

Derick ’95 and his spouse, Jennifer (Jen) Fick Brubaker are serving as physicians and in church relations under Eastern Mennonite Missions in Cusco, Peru.

Corinna Clymer ’97 and her spouse, Doug Clymer Olson, of Burtrum, Minn., have begun three-year assignments in Najile, Kenya, as food security coordinators with Mennonite Central Committee. Corinna has a master’s in experiential education from Minnesota State University, Mankato, Minn. The ClymerOlsons attended Woodland Hills Church, St. Paul.

Jill E. Gehman ’97, Philadelphia, Pa., has been named a 2012 Nurse Manager Fellow by the American Organization of Nurse Executives. Jill is employed by the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia as a nurse manager in the heart and vascular intensive care unit. She was chosen by the American Organization of Nurse Executives to participate in a yearlong fellowship with 30 other nurse managers from across the country. They meet four times throughout the year and have several interactions via teleconference.

Lisa Horst ’99, Lancaster, Pa., president and chief executive officer of The Learning Link, co-owner of City Mansion Investments LLC and a senior distributor and certified trainer with Send Out Cards, was selected as the 2012 Woman of the Year by Lancaster Area Express Network of the American Business Women’s Association.


Mark Keller, MDiv ’00, Harrisonburg, Va., was pictured in the April 7, 2012, issue of the Daily News Record, carrying a large cross between two of 10 stations in an annual Good Friday event. For more information on this event, read the entry for David Gullman ’91, who also carried the cross between stations.

Alexandra (Alex) Nunez, ’00, Apopka, Fla., became vice president of public affairs and Caribbean investment at Esperanza International in March 2012. After 11 years in government defense, Alex made a move to this Christian-based micro-finance organization that works in the Dominican Republic and Haiti. The mission of Esperanza International is to free children and their families from poverty through initiatives that generate income, education and health, restoring self-worth and dignity to those who have lost hope.

Jesse (Jess) Engle, MDiv ’02, Wauseon, Ohio, led the April 11, 2012, chapel service at EMU on the topic, “Think Differently – Not Try Harder” with reflections from Matthew 5:38-42 and John 20:21-22, plus personal narrative. Jess taught elementary school for 11 years, three in Luray, Va. He is married to Naomi Epp Engle, MA ’02 (pastoral counseling). They co-pastored at Aurora Mennonite Church in eastern Ohio for seven years and at West Clinton Mennonite in western Ohio the last three years. Naomi is the volunteer chairperson of the credentialing ministry of Ohio Mennonite Conference. They have three daughters: Anna ’11, who teaches school in Japan, Grace ’12, and Marie, a freshman voice major at Northwestern University near Chicago, Ill.

Ali Gohar MA ‘02 is transforming the traditional jirga, a local decision-making process in Pakistan and Afghanistan, to bring conflict transformation and restorative justice to communities.  In an article available at, Ali describes how strong local community processes that build peace are needed to support national peace processes. He counsels: “Instead of relying exclusively on official diplomatic methods to address conflicts, a more holistic approach is required. Sustainable peace cannot be achieved without participation at a grassroots level. The complexity of local and regional conflict dynamics in Afghanistan and Pakistan would be well served by the revivification of the Jirga system, the only convincing institutional base through which to build lasting peace.”

Bonnie Price Lofton MA ’04 (conflict transformation), editor-in-chief in EMU’s marketing and communications department, has earned a Doctor of Letters (D.Litt.) degree from Drew University, a Methodist-rooted institution in Madison, N.J. Her dissertation is titled “On the Survival of Mennonite Community in Modern-Day America: Lessons from History, Communities and Artists.” A PDF version of it can be downloaded from her webpage on the EMU website.

Mark Schloneger, MDiv ’05, Waynesboro, Va. was on campus during the week of March 26-30, 2012, as part of EMU’s visiting pastor program to interact with students, faculty and staff.  Mark is currently the pastor of Springdale Mennonite Church in Waynesboro.

Joel Shank ’06, Harrisonburg, Va., is a human resource manager at Dynamic Aviation. He has been with the company for six years in various human resource roles. The Harrisonburg- Rockingham Chamber of Commerce appointed Joel as one of three new members to its board of directors, beginning Jan. 1, 2012. Joel joins a 27-member board that is the governing body of the Chamber of Commerce.

Laura Bomberger ’08, Lancaster, Pa., became the events coordinator at Global Disciples (GD) in January 2010. Her primary duties include coordinating regional banquets in Florida, Indiana, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, planning business breakfasts with keynote speakers, and leading the annual Global Partners Summit (GPS). The GPS is an event which brings international businesspeople together to learn more about GD and provides the opportunity for participants to see what GD does firsthand. The location of the GPS varies each year. The most recent GPS tour to Nepal and India was themed “For the Healing of the Nations.”  Visionary possibilities include eradicating poverty through proper education, transforming the Turkana Desert in Kenya into a thriving farming community, and preaching the Gospel no matter what the cost.

Emily Gingrich ’09 spent the last year serving in the Czech Republic in a joint assignment with Eastern Mennonite Missions and Virginia Mennonite Missions (VMM). She moved to Lancaster, Pa., in April, hoping to do social work,, the arena of her college degree. Emily wrote in the April 2012 issue of VMM’s Connections that “networking,” defined as “a supportive system of sharing information and services among individuals and groups having a common interest,” captures the essence of her year of service.

Rebecca Souder ’09 Gish, Philadelphia, Pa., teaches art at the Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) in West Philadelphia charter school. KIPP is a national network of college-preparatory public schools preparing students in underserved communities for success in college and in life. Her spouse, David Gish ’08, is a student at Temple University’s medical school in Philadelphia.


Sara Beachy ’11, Baltic, Ohio, is wrapping up a one-year term of Mennonite Voluntary Service that began in August 2011. She has been a program assistant with Boys and Girls Clubs of Fresno County in California.

Stephen (Steve) Carpenter, MA ’11 (religion), Harrisonburg, Va., former coordinator of Virginia Mennonite Conference, joined MennoMedia on March 19, 2012 as its first full-time development director. In his conference role from 2003 to 2011, Steve served as business manager, office supervisor, and development director. For five years before moving to Harrisonburg, Steve was the administrator at Washington Community Fellowship, a Mennonite-rooted congregation on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. He served as an officer in the U.S. Coast Guard, based in Guam, Hawaii, Louisiana, Connecticut, and Washington, D.C., from 1977 to 1997. At one point he commanded a 15-crew patrol boat. At the end of his career he was chief of quality management and public affairs at the Coast Guard’s National Pollution Funds Center. A graduate of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, Steve earned a master of business administration degree from Tulane University. A prolific writer, Steve was published in The Washington Post under the title “Sorrow and Christian Faith Lead a Military Man to Embrace Pacifism.” For the past eight years he has been a regular media columnist for Mennonite Weekly Review (now Mennonite World Review), publishing more than 50 columns on movies, books, culture, and faith. Steve is a monthly columnist for the Third Way Café website and a regular speaker on the Shaping Families radio program. MennoMedia, formed in a merger last July, serves Mennonite Church USA and Mennonite Church Canada.

Megan Grove ‘11, formerly of Greencastle, Pa, moved to New York City in September 2011 to serve a one-year term with Mennonite Voluntary Service as a research and policy associate at the Community Development Project of the Urban Justice Center. In a March 2012 chapel, Megan reflected on her six-month experience in New York with a talk titled “Seeking the Peace of the City: A Volunteer’s Journey in New York.” Megan presented the value and rewards of her experience in terms of three lessons she learned: (1) service is a privilege, (2) everything comes full circle, and (3) the beauty of displacement. She strongly urged her listeners to engage in voluntary ministry ventures. Megan put her skills to use by writing reports, partnering with community organizations that represent low-income and marginalized New Yorkers, and assisting non-profit attorneys.

Adam Houser, MDiv ’11, Elyria, Ohio, was installed as the pastor of Peace Mennonite Church in Elyria on Jan. 8, 2012. Regional pastor, Ralph Reinford ’78, MA ’ 84 (from the seminary), brought the message.

Stephanie Day Mason ’12, Harrisonburg, Va., was a recent recipient of the Harrisonburg City Public Schools, “Above and Beyond Award.” Stephanie is a guidance counselor at Skyline Middle School in Harrisonburg.


Kenneth (Ken) Seitz, Jr. ’60 to Audrey Metz ’62, Jan. 1, 2012.

Rhonda Good ’92 to Randy King, Oct. 22, 2011.

Michelle Kuhns ’03 to Josh Brodesky, March 24, 2012.

Benjamin (Ben) Rosenberger ’04 to Dovanna Zehr ’05, Sept. 24, 2011.

Matthew (Matt) Ruth ’06 to Kara Miller ’07, May 29, 2011.

Lindsay Kisamore ’09 to Michael Horst ’05, July 16, 2011.

Gary LeRoger Parrish ’09 to Anna Smith ’09, Sept. 10, 2011.

Joshua Davis ’11 to Amber Warren, Aug. 6, 2011.


Allison Rohrer ’93 and Mark Kokkoros, Washington, D.C., Viviana Maria, April 18, 2009.

Benjamin (Ben) ’96 and Diane Yu Rutt, Long Island City, N. Y., Jason, Aug. 4, 2011.

Shaun ’99 and Kara Bidden Hackman, Green Lane, Pa., Larkin Elizabeth, Sept. 9, 2011.

Krystal Neuenschwander ’00 and Jason Glick, Harrisonburg, Va., Tessa Loren, Jan. 29, 2012.

Mark ’00 (MDiv ’08) and Sarah Hawkins ’02 Schoenhals (MDiv ’08), Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand, Hannah Lynn, Oct. 7, 2011.

Aaron ’01 and Kristen Weatherlow ’01 Buckwalter, Lancaster, Pa., Izak Nicholas Aaron, Nov. 1, 2011, adopted Dec. 28, 2011.

Sarah Herr ’02 and Greg Davis, Salt Lake City, Utah, Elsie Mae, Nov. 28, 2011.

Simone Bourdon ’03, MA ’10 (education), and Daniel Bergey, Harrisonburg, Va., Nathaniel David, June 26, 2011.

Erica Passmore ’03 and Martin Kalisch, Bad Dürrheim, Germany, Noah Walter, Sept. 14, 2010.

Lisa Bergey ’03 and T. Welby Lehman ’03, Harrisonburg, Va., Grant Dean, Oct. 10, 2011.

Justin ’03 and Veronica Erb Schweitzer, Harrisonburg, Va., Jackson Douglas, Nov. 4, 2011.

Hannah Kratzer ’04 and Darrell Wenger, Harrisonburg, Va., Aaron Glen, Sept. 21, 2011.

Kevin ’05 and Rachel Weaver ’03 Docherty, Baltimore, Md., Eleanor Grace, May 2, 2012.

Cheryl ’07 and Timothy Heatwole Shenk ’07, Camden, N.J., Matteo Justus, Oct. 24, 2011.

Kendal ’07 and Kelsey Wyse ’07 Swartzentruber, Harrisonburg, Va., Karcyn Faythe, Jan. 5, 2012.

Raad, MA ’11 (conflict transformation), and Lauren Amer, Harrisonburg, Va., Jenna Lee, May 9, 2012.


Ruth Krady (’39 HS) ’44 Lehman, Harrisonburg, Va., died May 1, 2012, at age 90 at the Oak Lea Nursing Home of Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community following a stroke. Ruth graduated from Eastern Mennonite High School in 1939 and from junior college at Eastern Mennonite in 1944. Between those periods of school, she was a stenographer on the staff of Mennonite Central Committee in Akron, Pa. Ruth married Harold D. Lehman ’36 in 1944. The first years of their married life were spent at Vineland Training School in Vineland, N.J., where Harold was in Civilian Public Service, and Ruth was employed as secretary to a department head. Ruth worked at EMC (now EMU) for 19 years, first as an assistant to the registrar, and then as acquisitions librarian. After her youngest son graduated from college, Ruth returned to complete her college degree at James Madison University (JMU). She was a student in JMU’s first Semester in London in the fall of 1979, and earned a bachelor of general studies in 1981, graduating magna cum laude with distinction in Women’s Studies. Her thesis study was on “The Status of Women Faculty at Eastern Mennonite College, 1917-1950.” Following her retirement from EMC, Ruth served with her husband in voluntary service between 1986 and 1990 in Birmingham, England, compiling the Turner Collection of Religious Movements, 1492-1992. She was a longtime member of Park View Mennonite Church, where she was active in Mennonite Women, taught kindergarten Sunday school, and was editor of the church newsletter. With her husband, she coauthored The Laurelville Story, 1943-1993. She typed many dissertations, studies, and book reviews. She frequently typed papers without charge for international students. Her spouse, Harold, survives.

Elizabeth M. (Mae) Schrock ’45, Wenger, Hindman, Ky., died May 31, 2011, at the age of 91 as the result of a stroke five months earlier. Mae married Wayne J. Wenger, Aug. 12, 1945, while he was in Civilian Public Service. He was ordained in 1946 to pastor a small Mennonite church in Imlay City, Mich. In 1952, Wayne and Mae moved to Caney Creek in Breathitt County, Ky., for a church-planting mission under the Indiana-Michigan Mennonite Conference. Later they became members of the Conservative Mennonite Conference, moving to Knox County, Ky., in 1961 and planting another congregation. In this work, they were self-supporting missionaries.

Ellen Shenk ’46 Peachey, Harrisonburg, Va., died April 26, 2012, at age 88, at Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community. She had been a teacher of Ikebana (Japanese flower arranging) and English as a second language. She and her spouse, Paul Peachey ’45, who survives her, spent 12 years living in Europe and Japan, much of that time under the auspices of Mennonite Central Committee in post-war relief, reconstruction and peace building. Her years abroad led to her interest in Ikebana and working with internationals seeking to learn English. After returning to America, Ellen and Paul moved to Washington, D.C., where they became active in Hyattsville Mennonite Church. Ellen was on the board of the learning center for disadvantaged children; completed a bachelor’s degree in English at the Catholic University of America; and became a founding member along with other Mennonites of the Rolling Ridge Study Retreat Community in Charles Town, W.Va. In 1987, the Peacheys were the first members of the community to become permanent residents of the retreat.

John Paul Heatwole ’51, Waynesboro, Va., died Jan. 31, 2012, at Augusta Health at the age of 87. John received his doctor of medicine degree from the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond. He completed a residency in anesthesia at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Bethesda, Md. He was the first anesthetist at the Waynesboro Community Hospital, where he practiced for 29 years, retiring in 1989. John was a skilled woodworker, carpenter and photographer. He was very active in the regional district of the Church of the Brethren and in Waynesboro Church of the Brethren, where he was a member.

Ruth Kurtz ’51 Hobbs, Dayton, Va., died at Rockingham Memorial Hospital, Feb. 28, 2012, at the age of 87. She taught school in Kentucky, Pennsylvania and these schools in Virginia – Dale Enterprise, Timberville, Beldor and Berea Christian School. At the time of her death, she was employed as a writer for Christian Light Publications Inc. in Harrisonburg, Va.

Richard Stover Moyer ’51, Harrisonburg, Va., died Feb. 10, 2012, at the Oak Lea unit of VMRC, at the age of 85. While a student at EMU, he met Ruth Gingrich, whom he married in 1950. Richard was licensed for pastoral ministry at a small African-American church in Lambertville, N.J., where he and Ruth served until early 1954. In April 1954, Richard and Ruth made a permanent transition to the Crenshaw community near Brockway, Pa., to provide pastoral ministry in a church planted by Jesse ’51, ThB ’52 and Betty Shirk Byler ’80 in 1951. Richard served in pastoral ministry at Crenshaw Union Church for over 50 years. Richard was keenly interested in bringing churches in the community together and breaking down walls that prevented Christians from cooperating to serve the people of the Brockway area. Later, he became involved in “Every Home for Christ,” a program whose ultimate goal was to place some form of gospel booklet into every home in the world. Toward this end, Richard made three trips each to Russia and Africa and one to both China and the Fiji Islands.

Richard O. Martin ’52, Harrisonburg, died at Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community in Harrisonburg on Jan. 16, 2012, at the age of 81. He and his spouse, Elizabeth Houser Martin, who survives, lived in West Liberty, Ohio, for many years, where he worked as district manager for DeKalb Seed Corn, served as head of the school board at West Liberty Salem School, was Little League baseball commissioner and head coach for the local men’s fast-pitch team.

Robert (Bob) E. Collins ’54, Falls Church, Va., died at the Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C. on Mar. 12, 2012, at the age of 79. Bob graduated from the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, Va., with a doctor of medicine degree. He was an intern at the Washington Hospital Center beginning in 1958. After a year of general practice in Broadway, Va., and a surgical residency at Medical College of Virginia, he returned to the Washington Hospital Center for his orthopedic surgical residency in 1961. He completed fellowships in children’s orthopedics at Children’s Hospital in Boston, and in cerebral palsy at Johns Hopkins University in 1962 and 1965, respectively. In addition to practicing orthopedics from 1964 until shortly before his death, Bob was: acting chief of orthopedics at Children’s Hospital in Washington, D.C.; chief of orthopedics at the Washington Hospital Center; president of the medical and dental staff of the Washington Hospital Center; chair for the division of surgery and surgery subspecialties for the National Rehabilitation Hospital; and an associate professor in the orthopedic department at Georgetown University. An avid sports fan, Bob had season tickets for the Washington Redskins games from 1965 to 2009 and was the Redskins’ orthopedic surgeon from 1985 to 1990, during the most successful years in the team’s history.

Gwendolyn Wenger ’56 Peachey, Lititz, Pa., died on April 23, 2012, after a six-month illness, at the age of 78. She received a master’s degree in early childhood education from Millersville (Pa.) University in 1982 and was certified as a reading teacher. Her teaching career included one year in Montana, two years at Savage Elementary School in Maryland, and two years at Lampeter (Pa.) Elementary. From 1981 to 1994, she taught third grade at Clay Elementary in the Ephrata Area School District. With their children, Gwen and her husband, Urbane Peachey ’58, lived in Beirut, Lebanon, and Amman, Jordan, from 1970 to 1975, where they served with Mennonite Central Committee. Gwen supervised several kindergartens in Palestinian refugee camps under the United Nations Relief Works Agency, and served as a consultant for various pre-school centers in Jordan. Gwen was an active member of a life writers group and book club. For 16 years, she sang with the Lancaster Chamber Singers, Lancaster/Franconia Choral Singers, and Berkshire (Mass.) Choral Institute. Gwen was a lifelong member of Akron Mennonite Church and, most recently, Community Mennonite Church of Lancaster, where she was on the pastoral team. Gwen is survived by Urbane.

Miriam A. Yoder ’62 Stoltzfus, Lewisburg, Pa., died at the age of 72 on Dec. 16, 2011, at Evangelical Community Hospital in Lewisburg. After training in elementary education, Miriam taught at Greenwood Mennonite School in Delaware for two years and later taught arts and crafts at Maranatha Christian School in Turbotville, Pa. She was a member of Buffalo Mennonite Church of Lewisburg, where she did secretarial work for 25 years and taught Sunday school. Taking pleasure in writing, Miriam wrote and published children’s literature. Interested in family genealogy, she also produced directories for the Stoltzfus and Yoder families.

Robert K (Bob) Wert ’63, Goshen, Ind., died March 4, 2012, at Indiana University Medical Center in Indianapolis at the age of 72. After receiving a master’s degree in social work from Howard University, Bob moved to Goshen, Ind., in 1978, where he worked for Oaklawn Psychiatric Center. After 26 years, Bob retired, but did not stop working on behalf of people in need. He worked with the Outreach Commission and Jubilee Fund program at College Mennonite Church where he was a member. He frequently could be found at Goshen College music, drama and sporting events, Lifelong Learning Institute classes, and the Rec-Fitness Center. Bob is survived by his wife, Esther Glick ’63 Wert.

Paul E. Gingerich ’79, formerly of Dalton, Ohio, and more recently of Keezletown, Va., died of lung cancer on March 6, 2012, at the age of 59. Paul taught Spanish and Bible at Central Christian Schools in Kidron, Ohio, for 30 years. A student noted that Paul made use of a Spanish Bible to enhance his Spanish teaching. Paul was a writer and musician. He was active in church work, serving as a Sunday school teacher, elder and caregiver. He was a mentor, friend, brother and companion to many. Paul is survived by his wife Joyce Augsburger ’74 Gingerich, daughter Tabitha ’02, and son Matthew ’05 and daughter-in-law Sara Hershberger ’07 Gingerich.

Steven Lee Miller ’80 of Harrisonburg, Va., died, Aug. 22, 2011, at Rockingham Memorial Hospital in Harrisonburg at the age of 52. He had been a resident at Emeritus for the past two and a half years. He was formerly employed by Harrisonburg Travel Center. He was a member of the Mount Crawford United Methodist Church, and a past member of the Mount Crawford Ruritan Club. He was a Cub Scout leader.

Dorothy Eby ’83 Horst, Bealeton, Va., died Mar. 29, 2012, at the age of 83. Dorothy spent her life teaching others, both in and out of the classroom, at Parkesburg (Pa.) Mennonite School, Paradise Mennonite School in Hagerstown, Md., and Gaithersburg Christian School in Gaithersburg, Md. She was also a missionary.

John Randall (Randy) Benner ’89 of Friedens, Pa, died March 14, 2012, at the age of 44 at Masonic Village in Elizabethtown, Pa., as a result of complications related to a brain tumor diagnosed three years earlier. He was the medical director at Siemens Lakeview Manor Estate, Somerset, Pa., for over 10 years, until two months before his death. Randy was a partner physician at Medical Associates of Boswell for 12 years where he also was co-medical director for In-Touch Somerset Hospice. He was also involved, since its inception, both as a volunteer physician and as a board member in the Somerset Community Clinic, a free clinic serving uninsured individuals. Randy and his spouse, Brenda Lehman ’89, MDiv ’06, originally relocated to the Somerset area after Randy graduated from the Ohio State University School of Medicine in 1994 and completed his family practice residency at Forbes Regional Medical Center in the Pittsburgh area. Randy took his faith journey seriously and was member of New Life Mennonite Church in Listie, Pa. He is survived by Brenda.

Theodore (Theo) Brian Yoder ’12, Kalona, Iowa, died at the age of 22 in his home in rural Kalona on April 12, 2012, after an intermittent 12-year battle with various cancers. Theo grew up on a farm in rural Kalona. He loved spending time working with hogs and helping his father and uncles tend to the crops. During the summer months, he operated Yoder Quality Lawn Care, which he started at the age of 13. Theo attended high school at Iowa Mennonite School in Kalona. During his high school years he was highly involved in agricultural studies and in the Future Farmers of America. At EMU, he majored in congregational and youth ministries and held a work-study job with the athletic events office. Due to a recurrence of cancer, Theo had to withdraw from his classes at EMU after the first quarter of his junior year in the fall of 2010. He was able to return to EMU the fall of 2011, but was forced to withdraw again. On March 3, 2012, President Loren Swartzendruber, with his wife Pat, visited Theo at his Iowa home and presented him with an honorary bachelor of arts degree. Thirty-one EMU students, plus Byron Peachey (campus pastor), Deanna Durham (professor and counselor to Theo) and Phil Guengerich ’70 (Theo’s work-study supervisor), traveled 18 hours on a bus to attend the funeral. President Swartzendruber was also in attendance.


The spouse of Alice Ruth Kauffman ’32 Gingerich was misnamed in her obituary in the Fall/Winter/Spring 2011-12 issue of Crossroads. She was married to Fred Gingerich.

Women Serving at Mental Hospital
On page 7 of the spring 2012 Crossroads, three unidentified women “presumably serving under Mennonite Central Committee” were pictured at Cleveland State Mental Hospital in the summer of 1945. Several people helped us to discover their names and the date of the photo: the woman at left in braids was Gladys Graber Beyler; Mary Ann Hostetter Melchert is in the middle; and Belva Waltner Unruh is at right. (Beyler confirmed this information from her home in Goshen, Ind.)

Degree Key

CLASS OF – attended as part of the class of a given graduation year.
HS – high school degree from era when high school and college were one
MA – master of arts
MDiv – master of divinity

Retired physician Paul T. Yoder ’50, MAL ’92, wraps up six years of compiling hundreds of mileposts with this issue. his successor, Braydon Hoover ’11, can be reached at or at 540-432-4294. send news directly to braydon or to

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